As a consumer, it is essential that you understand the value of your financial privacy. This is especially true when it comes to the bank that you choose. When you establish a relationship with a bank, they provide you with a vast array of paperwork that concerns your information, how it is used, and how it is shared.

To optimize your financial privacy, learn as much as possible about these documents and when to opt-out of sharing your information. Let’s learn how banks help consumers in maintaining their financial privacy.


The Privacy Notice

If your bank provides you with any type of privacy notice, be certain to read it thoroughly. This outlines the personal and nonpublic information that is collected and may be shared with other companies.

It usually outlines which companies are provided the information collected.

First, you should understand that those companies are typically not affiliated with the bank.

Second, you have a right to limit which or if ANY information is shared. Read the fine print of any privacy notice that you receive. To maintain your financial privacy, opt out of the sharing of information.

Sharing of Information

Many banks may share personal information that is considered to be “nonpublic” if you agree to it with other companies. This may include that from an application, transactions, and other types of data.

If you want to maintain your financial privacy or that of your children, you may opt-out of sharing this. It should be understood, though, that banks may share information regarding the types of accounts that you have and other types of information – such as transactions.

Sharing with Non-Affiliate Companies

While it is true that you may opt-out of certain types of information being shared, there are other types of information that the bank may share without giving you the option to refuse. The following outlines some of these circumstances:

  1. If it is needed to conduct normal business within the financial institution. For example, if you do not have certain types of products offered by the bank, that may be used to market and/or make those products available to you.
  2. Any information that is required by a court order may be shared.
  3. Any information that will help in protecting against transactions that are considered to be unauthorized or are fraudulent.
  4. Information that is necessary as part of a marketing agreement that is held with another entity.
  5. Information that must be shared due to local, state, or federal-based requirements.

Your Opt-Out Option

When you sign up for an account with your bank, they will give you a privacy notice. On this notice, you may have the option of opting-out of all financial or personal information that you do not want to share. In some instances, you may not have the option of opting-out to certain types of information.

This includes items such as information associated with your application or that which is pulled from a credit report and/or loan application. In most instances, once you opt-out, that will remain good for a total of five years. This may be more or less, depending on where the bank is located and what state you reside.


If the privacy notice associated with your financial institution changes, they have to provide you with a revision notice within 30 days before the revision actually takes place.

In most instances, this will be sent through the mail. It is commonly placed in with a statement or another type of correspondence. If you have signed up for electronic communications, you may receive the revision notice through your email. In some cases, the notice may be listed on the website of the bank.

If – by chance – you sign up for a new product with the bank, they will usually provide you with an updated privacy notice.

Credit Offers

Many do not realize it, but the reporting companies for credit typically sell financial-based information to both insurers and to lending companies. This lets those companies decide whether or not you will receive any types of offers for loans, insurance, and/or credit cards. These are often identified as “prescreened offers”.

It is possible to opt out of these, too. You just have to contact the Federal Trade Commission directly. You may do this by visiting their website or by calling them at 1-888-567-8688.

Your Responsibility

Just like it is your responsibility to safeguard your information, protect your identity, and take steps to guard against complications with your credit report, you must take responsibility when it comes to your financial privacy, too.

Be certain to review all paperwork prior to signing. If you do not want to agree to the terms of that paperwork, either do not sign or look for a way of opting out that is listed on the paperwork.

Additionally, you may opt out by calling the Federal Trade Commission, the company directly, or by contacting the bank that you work with for immediate assistance.

It is essential that you do not allow just anyone or any company access to your financial information.

Contact Us Today

We here at Somerville Bank take your financial privacy very seriously. When you bank with us, you will find that we are highly transparent and provide you with the option of sharing or not sharing your personal, nonpublic information. We offer a wide range of services that are suited for your finances and that work to safeguard your information. If you would like to learn more, we highly recommend that you contact one of our banking specialists today. You may do so in person or by phone. We have several locations available to help make it easy and convenient for you to obtain local assistance.

To view our location addresses, simply click on the link highlighted following this text. We look forward to assisting you!